Yemen Cargo Bomb Could Have Exploded Over NY or NJ: Brits

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCNewYork
    One of the potentially deadly devices found in the shipments from Yemen.

    One of the bombs planted on a cargo plane last month could have exploded in the air once the plane reached the skies over New York or New Jersey, British officials said today.

    Based on the timer's settings, the bomb hidden in a printer -- and intercepted by British security officials -- likely would have exploded in mid-air as the cargo plane flew over parts of New York state or New Jersey, investigators said.  Depending on flight time made by the aircraft, other possible sites could have been upstate New York near the Canadian border or sections of Pennsylvania.

    "If the device had not been removed from the aircraft the activation could have occurred over the eastern seaboard of the US," British police said in a statement Wednesday.

    One bomb was intercepted at central England's East Midlands Airport and the other was discovered at a FedEx cargo facility in Dubai.

    Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed credit for the package bombs sent via UPS and Fed Ex out of Yemen.

    The bomb seized in Britain was set to explode 10:30 a.m. Britain time -- or 5:30 a.m. New York time, U.S. and British officials on both sides of the Atlantic said.

     The crucial tip came from a Saudi informant who helped alert authorities about the bomb plot.

    Suspected Al Qaeda bomb maker Ibrahim al-Asiri is believed to have played a major role in the plot. 

    US authorities searched cargo planes flying into Newark Liberty and Philadelphia airports at the time of the threats, but no additional devices were found.